New South Wales
If you haven’t heard about the 2017 AusMumpreneur Awards, they’re a list of the who’s who when it comes to mums in business! We introduce you to Jeanette Lee from RoseWeaver Books and Rosy Lees Design, nominated for Network Excellence Ausmumpreneur.
Tell us about yourself and your business:
I am a cheerful, positive and colourful artist who loves to laugh and see the joy in life. I run Rosy Lees Designs: an illustration business creating bright, joyful patterns, applied to children’s books, fabrics and children’s home wares and sold online and wholesale. I also am a co founder of RoseWeaver Books which is a book publishing press; my business partner is fellow Mumpreneur, and publisher Karen McDermott.
We founded our business after collaborating on the publication of four children’s books with Karen providing the words and me providing the visuals. We very quickly realised that we were quite a force to be reckoned when we pooled our knowledge, expertise and drive.
What inspired you to start your business?
Karen and I have very vibrant personalities and we are always prepared to take on new challenges and try new ways of doing things. We wanted to be there for our young families when they need us as well as for filling that deep need to be the passionately creative business women that we know ourselves to be.
Karen and I are passionate about the power of the written word and believe that everyone has a book inside of them, which is waiting patiently to be born into this world. We offer support and to authors and aspiring authors who are not sure how to get their books published. We offer them manuscript assessments, visual storyboards, editing, proofreading, publishing, marketing and distribution.
We noticed that there are so many authors and aspiring authors out there who would like some support and we know that by nurturing these creative’s we can help them to soar.
What do you love about being a mumpreneur?
I find it an immensely rewarding and empowering experience to manage my own destiny in business whilst still being able to be there for my family whenever they need me. When you manage your own business and family you realise how much balance you can have and how much you inspire other people and your children to follow their dreams simply by following you own path. We mothers need to value ourselves and our contribution to society way more than we do.
What has been your greatest challenge and how have you addressed this?
My greatest personal challenge has been finding my way back after the miracle of having children. I have always known what I wanted in life and was always determined to strive forward paying my own way and being a person who made their own destiny. At five years old I proudly announced to my mother that I wasn’t going to marry a millionaire, I was going to be one!
I was devoted to my first baby and a year and a half later I had another beautiful baby girl. I was giving my all to family and business, twenty four hours a day, with the help of my full time working husband. I had always been a giver and I was giving all of myself to everyone else, which eventually led to a horrible state of debilitating depression. I found that my passion for business was disappearing into a haze of being a new mother.
I had achieved everything on my childhood list (apart from the millionaire) but what now? My husband and I had one last dream that had not been fulfilled and that was to move to Australia. We moved Amy (four) and Florence (two) to a new home in Sydney, my husband started work in the first week and there I was across the other side of the world with two children, strange money and a completely different way of life. I had a body I didn’t recognise, I wasn’t supporting my family financially any more, my happiness was being stabilized with medication. I realised that one huge benefit of no one knowing me meant I could totally reinvent myself, which I found fabulously empowering. To cut a long story short I have worked very hard at building a new me. I am now a vibrant, joyful, colourful, creative person who my UK friends would barely recognise. I feel more empowered than ever and ready to take on the world and find the tough business girl that has been lying dormant waiting to be reborn.
What has been your greatest achievement in the past 12 months?
My greatest achievement in the last year has been to overcome my fear of rejection, find my true voice, and gain lasting connections with like minded people who have lifted me and my businesses to a whole new level.
I felt very lost and alone so I made a decision to seek out my tribe, I found Ausmumprener online and thought that it looked like a perfect support network. I introduced myself to the other Mumpreners and found them all to be wonderfully supportive. I was approached by book publisher Karen McDermott who adored my work in that first week. We negotiated a contract and started working together right away. We’ve published four children’s books together and then went on to create RoseWeaver Books. It really is a dream come true.
What do you wish you knew before you started your business?
I wish I knew how rewarding it would be. I was terrified, but starting my own businesses is very challenging but you never get bored and every positive thing that happens in your business is linked directly to your own hard work, so you get to do lots of little happy dances and crack open the odd bottle of champagne to celebrate how far you have come.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting a business for the first time?
It is important to be passionate about your business and love what you do, as it will take up a lot of your time. You will have to take on lots of new challenges and you need to be prepared to be brave and strive forward.
Every minute of dedication will pay off and suddenly you will lift your head from your work and you will realise how far you have come as a person and as a business. It is a truly amazing experience, one of which you will always cherish.
Why do you believe you should win this award?
I would love to be an ambassador who inspires and supports other women in business. AusMumpreneur is a wonderful community and I would love to have the opportunity to take my part in inspiring and supporting other mothers and women to pursue their dreams.